I used to be 110%. At least.
Pushing. Over-doing. Over-giving. Over-talking. Over-eating.
Trying to rest before I was completely exhausted (-20%) was impossible because of my anxiety and feeling guilty for resting.
I’m still recovering from this overdrive. I still forget. I still see this overdrive personality in action quite a lot.
(That crazy-head personality was the reason I turned to yoga. To get out of what was not me. But that’s another story.)
Recently, I was introduced to the 70%. Thank God.
So, what’s the 70%?
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, using 70% of effort in everything is a way to keep your ENERGY storage (the kidneys) and the entire body HEALTHY. It’s the way to go to NOT BURN OUT.
Work and exercise to 70% of your effort. Eat until you’re 70% full. Go to sleep when you still have 30% of your energy left.
I find the 70% guideline applicable to everything.
Reminding myself of 70% helps me RELAX. Instantly. I find SPACE and EASE when I’m not pushing it further. And I get more out of life when I’m not blocking myself with the tension of trying to go about at 100% all the time.
Even when I rest or try to relax and enjoy myself in some way, I’ve had some perfectionistic idea that it should be at least 100% relaxing, 100% fun or 100% whatever fantastic and unrealistic I could imagine.
In reality, I experience something different, something that cannot really be graded on a percentage scale. If it’s 1% or 100% depends on my perspective.
Nevertheless, reminding myself of the 70% helps me relax into whatever is, being happy with the experience however it turns out.
The not forcing myself gives me space to ENJOY and be HAPPY.
The 70% rule was introduced to me by my lovely yin yoga teacher Sofie Ringsten. Thank you Sofie! You can read her take on the 70% rule here.
TRY the 70% rule for a day or two and come back to share your experience below!
Photo by aslakr